The Mini DisplayPort is a small form factor connector invented by Apple to fully support the VESA DisplayPort protocol. Unlike the Mini-DVI and Micro-DVI connectors common on previous generation Apple products, the port is capable of driving resolutions up to 2560x1600, which is commonly used on 30-inch displays.
In an update to its software licensing page spotted by ArsTechnica, Apple announced that it's not charging for Mini DisplayPort licenses, which can be obtained by filling out a Mini DisplayPort Implementation Agreement [PDF].
The Cupertino-based company notes that Mini DisplayPort is "particularly useful on systems where space is at a premium, such as portable computers or to support multiple connectors on reduced height add-in cards."
Mini DisplayPort can already be found on the latest family of MacBooks, MacBook Pros, and MacBook Airs, in addition to the new 24-inch LED Cinema Display. Apple has also said it plans to implement the connector on all of its future Mac designs.
By offering no-fee licenses, the Mac maker hopes other PC vendors will adopt MiniDisplay port and help build a market for compatible devices. The move also presents the possibility that third parties will develop some well sought-after solutions, like a Mini DispayPort to HDMI adapter for hooking MacBooks up to HDTVs and a connector that will allow older Macs to connect to the new 24-inch LED Apple Cinema Display.